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Interview with Dearbhla Molloy


Aniethen
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Strained relations

The charming Dearbhla Molloy talks to SHELLEY MARSDEN about her latest acting role, Orlando Bloom and working at Butlins … By Shelley Marsden - 22/08/07

In Celebration, by David Storey, exploded onto the stage in 1969. Now viewed as a powerful piece of classic theatre, it is back with an impressive cast that includes seasoned Irish actress Dearbhla Molloy and Hollywood heart throb Orlando Bloom. The story hinges on three brothers – Andrew, Colin and Steven – who go back home to the north of England for a family get-together. The purpose of their trip is one of celebration, but once its members unite, deeply-buried resentments are brought back to the surface – and the delicate semblance of family harmony is quickly shattered. Dearbhla takes a pre-performance break to tell me more.

What is In Celebration about?

It’s about family, about the different perceptions of each individual within a family, and the distortions within those; the blame-laying. In the words of PhilipLarkin –“They **** you up, your mum and dad” – but the question playwright David Storey is posing is, “Do they do it to us, or do we do it to ourselves?”

Why did it cause such a stir in the 60s when it came out?

It was just at the very beginning of that kind of shift in awareness, at a time when that kind of psychology was just waking up. It was coming to the end of ‘kitchen sink’ realism and the beginning of a more psychological exploration of things. Now we’re so used to it that all of popular writing seems to be about me, I, my world. But the play still packs a punch because it asks questions. And I very much wanted to do it because I was so interested in this woman (Molloy’s character, Mrs Shaw).

What’s so interesting about her?

I felt it might have been the time that he wrote it, but he was particularly hard on this woman. She seemed to carry the blame for a lot of what had gone wrong in the family, and I was interested in the exploration of that, and therefore the position of women at that time. I wanted to convert that, or slightly pervert that, in a way which would make sense in the year 2007. Mrs Shaw is a woman you could perceive as very unlikable. It’s not my job to make her likeable, but it is my job to make her understandable.

Is it different to work with a star like Orlando Bloom and someone less famous?

Not at all. He plays one of the sons but it’s another character who motors the emotion in the play. Orlando’s part is the quietest, but nonetheless an important one. I didn’t know Orlando beforehand; I had seen one episode of Lord of the Rings and that was it – I wouldn’t have recognized him if he’d sat beside me on the Tube. In the rehearsal room, all that fame stuff falls away though. He’s very modest, and extraordinarily hardworking, and willing and very eager. We are all immensely protective of Orlando; we’re not about to let anybody do him down in any way, or separate him from the other cast members or from the play as a whole.

http://www.theirishworld.com/article.asp?S.Article_Id=3487

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Thanks, Claire, for finding and posting. Like the others, I appreciate the "immensely protective of Orlando part," to the point where they won't let outside influences set him apart from the play or the other cast members. I also enjoyed her insights into the character of Mrs. Shaw.

Barbara

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Thanks for bringing this over, Claire. I enjoyed her comments about Orlando, and also appreciated her comments about her character (making her character understandable, even if not more likable) and the play in general.

Jules

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Thanks for bringing this over, Aniethen.

"Immensely protective", eh? Sounds like us.

My thoughts exactly. :lol: Once again, we get a confirmation ( not that we need it ) of Orlando's inner beauty and goodness. Thank you for posting, Claire.

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Thank you for calling our attention to this article, Claire. With all the attention of Orlando starring in this play, it is sometimes easy to forget that this is an ensemble piece and that other hard-working actors are showing up every day and giving it their "all" as well.

I think it is endearing that the cast is "protective" of Orlando. Very sweet and motherly of her to say. She is not alone in her feelings of affection for him. Not by a long shot!

- Pam -

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Thanks, Aniethen, for bringing this interview over here. Haven't seen this play, of course, but I did read the play and saw the film of the the original production. Mrs. Shaw is a tough role to do and her character is, indeed, an unlikeable woman. I'd love to see Dearbhla Molloy's performance. I'm still wishing they would film this new production for DVD . it's not like Orlando's big fan base wouldn't flock to buy copies and his reported financial "carrying" of the play could stretch even further. In Alan Bates' commentary on the DVD, he said he thought all plays should be filmed for preservation. I think so, too - especially now that technology makes it easier.

Question . how does one pronounce "Dearbhla?" Any Irish board members? :)

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Question ... how does one pronounce "Dearbhla?" Any Irish board members? :)
As far as I know, it's pronounced Dervla, although I'm not Irish.

Thanks for bringing the article over, Claire. I have enjoyed Dearbhla Molloy's performance every time I've seen the play, and it was very interesting to read about the character... and of course about Orlando!!

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Question ... how does one pronounce "Dearbhla?" Any Irish board members? :)

Not to steal little_green's thunder but I agree with her that "Dervla" seems like the closest translation. There is an Irish actress who has appeared in many UK programmes called Dervla Kirwan. I'm guessing the correct spelling of her name might be Dearbhla.

Thanks Aniethen. The interview echoes what Dearbhla said during the Q&A back in July, that her character takes too much blame.

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Great interview and thank you Claire for bringing this over. :hug: I also liked the part about them being protective of Orlando, I think that is nice that they are doing that for him. It shows that they care about him just like us. :heart:

Kim

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In the rehearsal room, all that fame stuff falls away though. He's very modest, and extraordinarily hardworking, and willing and very eager. We are all immensely protective of Orlando; we're not about to let anybody do him down in any way, or separate him from the other cast members or from the play as a whole.

http://www.theirishworld.com/article.asp?S.Article_Id=3487

Thank you Aniethen for this truly interesting read. I love what Dearbhla Molloy says about Orlando . bless her heart. She didn't have to say that at all but I am happy she did.

It's comforting to see that Orlando is receiving a lot of love and respect, not only from the fans, but his cast mates as well.

:hug:

Charlie

Slightly edited 'cos I can't spell.

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... Not to steal little_green's thunder but I agree with her that "Dervla" seems like the closest translation. There is an Irish actress who has appeared in many UK programmes called Dervla Kirwan. I'm guessing the correct spelling of her name might be Dearbhla.

Thanks, ladies . that's close to what I was guessing. :hug: Gaelic is so full of those excess consonants, it's fun to try to guess how words are spoken.

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You must all know this feeling: You've been away from here for some time and then when you come back you find breathtaking pictures, new unbelievable CEOKs and then these kind of lovely articles. After various reactions (changing from :blow: to :lmao2: and from that to :ka-nuke: , the result always being :dbb: ) you are left with one thought only: 'Why did I ever leave this place, even for a little while?'

Thank you Aniethen for bringing this over! When one lives in the Finnish Lapland, one surely learns to respect those, who post articles from all over the world.

Love,

SentimentalAnni

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Dearbhla Molloy's view of her character is very insightful. Her comments regarding Orlando's modesty, his hard-working dedication to his craft and the impact this has had on his fellow cast members to the stage that they were "immensely protective" of him, were the icing on the cake of a very interesting interview. I liked that she was careful to support Orlando's desire to go back to his roots as an actor, as a part of a whole, with her comment that "we're not about to let anybody do him down in any way, or separate him from the other cast members or from the play as a whole."

Dearbhla Molloy didn't have to give these warm comments, but she confirmed what we all know - that Orlando is a very special person. He's the personification of the quote "To know him is to love him."

Thank you Claire for sharing this interview with us.

Semmley

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I only met Dearbhla Molloy for a few minutes outside the DOY but she was totally lovely and gracious then too. She made me feel comfortable and showed real interest in me as a person. And I was already impressed by her performance in the play. She was so believable in her role.

I think I shall treasure her autograph even more now especially after this lovely interview and what she had to say regarding Orlando . A lady with a generous heart.

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